The role of protein in weight loss and weight management
by Snehal Snehal on Jun 21, 2022
Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a role in many physiological processes in the body, including cell growth and repair, enzyme production, and hormone regulation. It is also a key nutrient for weight loss and weight management. Most of us are already aware of the fact that protein is important for muscle growth, but what many people don't realize is that it is also crucial for weight loss. In this blog, we are going to talk about how protein can help you lose weight and manage your weight in the long term.
How protein intake helps in weight loss and management
When you are trying to lose weight, you need to make sure that you are getting enough protein in your diet. Here are top ways how protein intake can help you lose weight and manage your weight in the long term:
1. It helps you feel full for longer periods
Protein intake helps to slow down the emptying of the stomach, which in turn makes you feel full for longer periods. This is because protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates. As a result, you are less likely to experience hunger pangs and cravings throughout the day, which can lead to overeating.
2. It boosts your metabolism
Protein also helps to boost your metabolism, which is the rate at which your body burns calories. A higher metabolism means that you will be able to lose weight more easily. Protein contains a higher thermic effect than other nutrients, which means that your body has to work harder to digest it.
3. It helps you maintain lean muscle mass
Another benefit of protein is that it helps you maintain lean muscle mass. This is important because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. Therefore, the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn, even at rest. In addition, protein is necessary for the growth and repair of muscle tissue.
4. It helps reduce hunger hormones
Protein can also help to reduce levels of hunger hormones in the body. One study showed that participants who ate a high-protein diet felt less hungry than those who ate a diet with less protein. This is because protein helps to regulate hunger hormones such as ghrelin.
5. It slows down the emptying of the stomach
Another way that protein can help with weight loss is by slowing down the emptying of the stomach. This is because protein takes longer to digest than other nutrients. Therefore, it keeps you feeling fuller for longer. This could lead to reduced calorie intake and weight loss over time.
6. It decreases water retention
Water retention can make you feel bloated and heavier than usual. This is because your body is storing water in the tissues. Protein may help to decrease water retention by increasing the amount of urine produced. This helps to flush out excess water from the body.
7. It improves body composition
When you lose weight, you may also lose muscle mass. This can impact your appearance and make it harder to keep the weight off in the long term. Protein can help to preserve muscle mass during weight loss. It does this by stimulating muscle protein synthesis, which is the process that helps to build and repair muscles.
8. It reduces appetite
Certain amino acids found in protein can help to reduce hunger levels. One study showed that participants who consumed more protein at breakfast felt fuller throughout the day and ate fewer calories at their next meal. Besides, protein also delays stomach emptying, which can further reduce hunger and promote weight loss.
Understanding the working of protein
As we have seen, protein has several benefits for weight loss and weight management. Now let's understand how it works.
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of all tissues in the body, including muscle. When you eat protein foods, your stomach and intestines break them down into individual amino acids or small peptides. These are then absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to different cells in the body, where they are used to build new proteins.
So, eating protein can help to build and repair all sorts of tissues in the body, including muscles. It also plays an important role in many other vital processes, such as hormone production and transporting oxygen around the body.
Top sources for plant-based protein for weight loss
Plant-based protein foods are a good source of many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They're also low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Here is the list of some plant-based sources of protein that can help you in weight loss:
1) Beans and legumes: kidney beans, black beans, lentils, chickpeas
They carry a good amount of soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber helps you to feel full for a longer time and also aids in digestion and bowel movement. All these factors play an important role in weight loss.
2) Soy products: tofu, tempeh, edamame
Soy products are rich in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial for maintaining heart health and reducing inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids are also helpful in losing weight by reducing the level of the hormone leptin.
3) Nuts and seeds: pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, almonds, walnuts
Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats, fiber, and minerals. All these nutrients together help in weight loss by boosting metabolism and reducing hunger.
Avocados are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants. The healthy fats present in avocados help to reduce cholesterol levels and inflammation. Avocados are also helpful in weight loss by increasing satiety and reducing the number of calories consumed.
Protein plays a role in weight loss and weight management by reducing appetite, increasing satiety, and boosting metabolism. Protein is also helpful in losing weight by reducing the level of the hormone leptin. Nuts and seeds, as well as avocados, are other foods that can help with weight loss. All these foods contain nutrients that boost metabolism and reduce hunger. So if you are trying to lose weight or manage your weight, make sure to include these foods in your diet.